Maple Leaf Forever tree event today at Todmorden Mills Heritage Site

TORONTO, June 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Councillors Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth), Paula Fletcher (Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth) and Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32 Beaches-East York) joined Toronto's Emergency Medical Services Honour Guard at an event today honouring the Maple Leaf Forever tree.  

"This famed tree continues to be an inspiration for people locally and across the country," said Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly. "The City is proud and pleased to be preserving the tree's legacy by making more than 150 different items from the tree." 

The tree is believed to have been the inspiration for Alexander Muir's song "The Maple Leaf Forever." Since the tree fell in a storm last summer, the City has engaged in many activities to preserve the tree's legacy. For example, through the efforts of Councillor Fletcher, some of the salvaged wood will be used to build a new lectern for the Toronto City Hall council chamber in time for the inaugural meeting of a new Council in December.

At today's event, pieces from the tree were supplied to local designers and wood crafts people to be re-purposed for public display in museums and historical societies across Canada. One of the pieces was presented to Colin Cripps, the newest member of Blue Rodeo. He will use it to create a guitar that will be played by members of Blue Rodeo and other Toronto-based musicians.

"As a passionate supporter of our city's tree canopy, I am pleased that so many people and organizations want to share in honouring the Maple Leaf Forever tree, as it remains an important part our heritage," said Councillor McMahon.

Also at today's event, a sapling from the tree was planted at Todmorden Mills and members of the public were able to view examples of designs already created from the tree's wood.

"Planting a sapling today at Todmorden Mills combines the symbolism of the tree and this site into a new and living example of Toronto's history that can be appreciated by current and future residents and visitors," said Councillor Fragedakis.

The area around Todmorden Mills supplied lumber to the thriving town of York (now Toronto) and was the site of the first paper mills in Upper Canada to produce machine-made paper. Today, Todmorden Mills is one of 11 historic sites run by the City of Toronto.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

SOURCE: City of Toronto

For further information: Media contact: Shane Gerard, Strategic Communications, 647-881-9854, sgerard@toronto.ca

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